Kafein is the stereotypical college town coffee shop, replete with an offbeat vibe, random artwork and enough outlets to accommodate each and every laptop-toting customer. The menu, however, is refreshingly far from stereotypical, with selections as foreign as the Aztec mocha (dark Mexican cocoa, vanilla, spices and two shots of espresso, $3.45) and creative as the funky monkey latte (with banana and caramel, $3.95). A small selection of salads and sandwiches are also available, with about a half-dozen low-fat and vegetarian options.
Although oodles of items on Kafein's dessert menu will immediately add on a few extra pounds, Kafein offers a surprisingly wide variety of guilt-free goodies. The tastiest are the milkshakes, which, in addition to the normal vanilla and chocolate, come in flavors such as cappuccino, chai and white mocha ($3.55-3.95, fat-free yogurt 25 cents extra). If you're not counting calories, the big ass cookie sundae ($4.75) is enough gooey cookie and ice cream to last you weeks. Open super-late, Kafein is a popular stop for late-night study sessions.
The spot also recently added an outdoor patio for added seating (overlooking a swimming pool!). On Monday nights, sign up for the open mic (8:30-10:30 p.m.); registration begins at 8 p.m.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Laura Brown